Wednesday, February 5, 2014

An utter and complete failure...

That's how I feel about myself today.  It started last night when I had to FIGHT myself to run 7 miles on the treadmill.

Then last night, I did something that I have not wanted to do.  I measured Chakotay.  I was dismayed to see that he has gained back almost all the weight that he had taken off.  It's not his fault.  I have completely and totally failed him.  It's not good for him to be overweight like he is, and I haven't been able to do the right things for him in order for him to keep his weight down.

Like a person, I can offer all kinds of excuses - the weather HAS been miserable and it's been a struggle to get the dogs any sort of productive exercise.  BUT his weight means that I have failed as a doggie parent.  

Then I stepped on the scale this morning and I am still over 120.  I wasn't overly upset about this as I have been in the past.  However, I found myself thinking that maybe it's time to just face the truth.  I can offer all the excuses and rationalizations that I want, but maybe I need to stop pretending that it is realistic or honest to keep saying that my top weight is 120 when, in reality, more days then not it's above that.

But the thought of raising my "red-line" number made me feel like I have failed at a goal.  Compound my feeling of helplessness with yet another miserable snowstorm making me feel like I am never, ever, going to see nice weather again.

But the kicker - the news that brought me LITERALLY to my knees happened when I got to work this morning.

I maintain a Facebook page for work.  I am Facebook friends on there with many former and current clients.  And the first thing I get on this morning I am bombarded with RIP message for one of my clients.  In a panic I began making some calls and was devastated beyond words to learn that one of my clients died of a heroin overdose last night.

He was going to graduate this program in 2 weeks.  He was a brilliant mind - from a good family and had a Master's Degree.  He had made it through a long term program and was working full time and looking towards the future.  I don't know all the details yet, or how long he has been using again, but he did last night and it cost him his life.

This young man would have turned 30 this year.  He was a runner.  I ran in a couple of races with him last year.  To watch him run was a thing of beauty.  There are people that are good at running, but he was just a natural.  He glided across the pavement like a gazelle.  It was beautiful to watch.  At one of my 1/2 marathons last year, he ran and his mother came up to talk to me afterwards and thanked me for all I had done for her son and she took a pic of the 2 of us together with our medals.

I've been in this business long enough to know that this is not about me.  The fact is that some people DIE of their addiction, and there's nothing that can be done to eliminate that reality.  But that has not stopped me from all day wondering what I could have done, could have said, could have done differently so that he would not have stuck that needle in his arm last night.  What could I have done that would mean he was alive today?

It makes me feel like even in my work, I am a failure...


  1. Jen, I say this with the utmost respect and support for you.

    1 - You are not God.
    2 - Other peoples' tragedies are not about you.
    3 - If losing 225lbs and maintaining that loss to "around 120lbs" makes you a failure, then my gaining back of 30 lbs makes me what? Scum of the earth?

    I think you need to get a sense of perspective about your world and your role in it. And I say that with respect.

  2. I appreciate you making me feel even worse by your implication that I am a self-centered bitch. My pain is real, thanks for your understanding and support.

  3. Jen - I never denied your pain or said that it wasn't real. Everyone deserves to grieve when someone they care about has died - especially in such a tragic way. But his death is not about you. It's not your tragedy. It's not your responsibility. All this rending your shirt about "what could *I* have done" isn't grief for him. Calling yourself an utter and complete failure because you couldn't be God for him isn't healthy and it isn't respectful of his tragedy, IMO.

    Maybe at some point you'll be able to step back and see that instead of attacking me for saying so.

    I'm so sorry you hurt. I do. But you need to gain some perspective.

    1. The fact is that I have devoted my LIFE to helping people with addictions get clean and sober and change their lives for the better. I don't think that feeling like I've failed when someone DIED from their addiction and wondering what I could have done to change that makes me fucked in the head. But you are entitled to your opinion.

      Speaking of perspective, though, MY satisfaction or dissatisfaction with MY weight does NOT mean that I have an opinion or judge YOU on YOUR weight - past present or future.

  4. I've got nothing, except to send you a big internet (((hug))) and let you know that I'll be praying for you. That's a lot to deal with all at once!